March 3, 2013 (Havana, Cuba) — Over a million dollars (890,000 euros) were raised during the traditional auction at the end of the Habano Festival, with all the funds going into Cuba’s Public Healthcare System.

Six lots of deluxe humidors were sold under the gavel during the gala night dedicated to the Partagas brand. More than a thousand Habano experts and lovers enjoyed a delicious meal in which different dishes from international cuisine, wines, spirits and Habanos were paired.

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Celebrated U.S. actor Danny Glover received the 15th Habano Festival Special Award for his close ties of friendship with Cuba and his battle for peace and justice.

Mr. Glover underscored the injustice imprisonment of the five Cuban antiterrorists, “five brave men who deserve to come back home with their families,” he said.

Habanos S.A. co-presidents Walfrido Hernandez and Luis Sanchez Harguindey gave guests a special salute and invited everybody to puff on the first Partagas Grand Reserve, just reserved for that occasion.

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Another special moment was the presentation of the Habano of the Year Award in the Communication category, handed over by former tennis star Boris Becker –he won half a dozen Grand Slam titles during his career-to Phoenicia Cyprus, Habano distributor in the Middle East and Africa.

In the Business category, the award went to Habanos S.A.’s Caribbean sub-distributor Mauricio Abrahamabady, while Osvaldo Encarnacion, from Tabacuba Group, grabbed top honors in the Production category.

During the closing ceremony, a special humidor dedicated to the 15th Habano Festival was raffled to put an end to an event that gathered businesspeople, collectors, sommeliers, tasters, executives, artists, producers and lovers of Cuban cigars.

The big Habano bash featured the performance of top artists and musicians, such as Omara Portuondo, Mayito, Pablo FG, among others.

Last but not least, next year’s edition, slated for Feb. 24-28, 2014, was enthusiastically summoned.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.